“Minnesota’s Miracle” can inform a new generation


Policy enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy “Minnesota’s Miracle: Learning from the Government That Worked.” It’s a gem of a book on 1970s legislative policy-making, and Minnesota’ golden age of bi-partisan problem-solving, progressive reform, public investment and innovation. The writing, by Tom Berg, a former legislator and a strong Minnesota community leader on many fronts since then, is both careful and lively, sprinkled with delightful anecdotes such as the triumph of pioneering women legislators in gaining entry and membership in the once all-male St. Paul Athletic Club.

For my money, the heart of the book is the chapter “Breakout Session,” between pages 79 and 112, which contains an inspiring summary of lasting reform legislation that protected the environment, expanded access to education, and improved housing and metropolitan governance. Younger citizens in particular need to know this history, to know what is possible and to keep hope alive for constructive resolution of the demographic and economic challenges we face 40 years later.

The book launch and celebration is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Cowles Auditorium and the Hubert H. Humphrey Center.